- EL AL Israel Airlines is considering options with Airbus to replace its aging fleet of Boeing 737s.
- Airbus is in “serious” talks with EL AL, showing a strong interest in securing a deal, although Boeing is not out of consideration as well.
- EL AL plans to expand its fleet from 46 to at least 59 aircraft by 2028, and is exploring the possibility of having the popular Airbus A321neos.
EL AL Israel Airlines is weighing its options as it looks to renew its short-haul fleet. The carrier has been a Boeing loyalist, and its current fleet only has airplanes manufactured by the US plane maker. But a recent report has revealed that EL AL is also exploring options with Airbus to replace its aging fleet of Boeing 737s.
EL AL is in conversation with Airbus for its popular A321neo jets. The airline has an all-Boeing fleet, signaling its close ties to the US, but a report by Reuters says that the airline is in “serious” talks with the European plane manufacturer.
The carrier’s CEO, Dina Ben Tal Ganancia, told Reuters that nothing has been decided yet and that both Airbus and Boeing are in the running. But Airbus has been in constant touch with Israel for a possible deal. Ben Tal Ganancia was quoted as saying,
“It is serious. We’re negotiating with both suppliers. They are coming back and forth to Israel to show us their business cases and we are examining them.”
Currently, EL AL has no aircraft orders on the books, but it plans to expand its fleet from the current 46 aircraft to at least 59 by 2028 as part of its five-year plan. Naturally, both Airbus and Boeing are likely to pitch hard for an order value that will run into billions of dollars.
It’s not yet certain which plane maker would end up getting the order. While Boeing will likely fight hard to maintain its association with the airline, Airbus’ A320 family of planes, particularly the higher-capacity A321neos, have been very popular with airlines and could be the deciding factor for EL AL as well.
Photo: Mike Fuchslocher/Shutterstock
Per ch-aviation, EL AL has 47 aircraft, of which 41 are in active service. It has 17 Boeing 737-800 planes with an average age of more than 18 years and eight Boeing 737-900ER with an average age of 8.6 years.
Its widebody fleet has 20 planes of Boeing 777-300ERs and Boeing 787-8 and 787-9 aircraft. It recently took delivery of its 16th 787 Dreamliner.
EL AL recently reported the highest second-quarter profit since the airline was privatized about two decades ago. The carrier’s revenue for this year’s second quarter was $630 million, a significant 22% increase from the $516 million revenue earned during the corresponding quarter in 2022.
Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Shutterstock
It earned an operating profit of about $90 million, which was ten times the operating profit of $9.4 million earned in the same quarter of last year. Altogether, the revenues for this year’s first six-month period reached almost $1.12 billion.
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